Coursework in Program of Study

Financial Aid and Courses That Count in a Students Program of Study

Federal regulations stipulate that a student may only receive US Federal Title IV Funds for courses that count towards their degree or certificate. To comply with this regulation, institutions must track the courses that a student is registered for that count towards their degree or certificate program.

"If a student is enrolled in courses that do not count toward his degree, certificate, or other recognized credential, they cannot be used to determine enrollment status unless they are eligible remedial courses. This means financial aid cannot award the student aid for classes that do not count toward his degree, certificate, or other recognized credential." (2017-18 Federal Student Aid Handbook page 1-20)

CCC tracks the courses students are registered for and ensures they count towards their degree or certificate program.

Enrollment Status Types

12+ credits/semester Full Time Enrollment Status
9 – 11 credits/semester Three Quarter Time Enrollment Status
6 – 8 credits/semester Half Time Enrollment Status
1 – 5 credits/semester Less Than Half Time Enrollment Status


Q & A on Courses That Count in a Students Program of Study

I’m enrolled in 12 credit hours, but 4 of those hours don’t fit into my degree or certificate. How does that affect my financial aid?

Financial aid will fund you for only the 8 credit hours that apply to your degree or certificate.  This will change your Pell Grant award from a full-time enrollment award to a half-time enrollment award. In 2016-2017, a student with a 0 EFC in this situation would be looking at the difference between receiving a $2908 Pell Grant for all 12 credit hours, and a $1454 Pell Grant for the 8 credit hours that apply to their degree or certificate.

I want student loans, but out of my 9 enrolled credit hours only 4 of them are actually in my degree or certificate. Can I still get loans?

No. In order to receive any type of student loans, you must be enrolled in a minimum of 6 credit hours that apply to your degree or certificate. Because only 4 credits apply to your degree or certificate, you have not met the minimum of 6 credit hours required to be eligible.

For this upcoming semester I plan on enrolling in 17 credit hours including a 3 credit hour dance class that doesn’t fit into my degree or certificate. Will financial aid pay for the dance class?

Financial aid will disburse based on full-time enrollment status (see Enrollment Status Types chart above.) If 14 of your credits apply to your degree or certificate and 3 credits do not apply, then you are still considered a full-time student and if eligible you can expect to receive a full-time Pell award and student loans if you applied for them. Financial aid will pay for any academic related charges. Financial aid will pay towards the charges of the dance class. However, the financial aid you receive may not be enough to cover all tuition costs, leaving you responsible for paying for the remainder of your charges. Our Disbursement page has more information. 

I’m about to graduate and I have several remaining financial aid eligible hours. Can I enroll in other fun courses in order to use those up?

No. Per Federal regulation financial aid is designed to help students afford earning a degree or certificate. Financial aid will only fund you for the remaining credit hours that are required for you to graduate. However, once you’ve received your first degree, you can submit a Second-Degree Appeal. If approved, you may receive financial aid for courses that apply to a second Associates Degree. For more information on a Second Degree Appeal see our Satisfactory Academic Progress page.

Some of the classes I’m enrolled in do not apply to my degree or certificate.  What do I do next?

When you have courses that do not apply to your degree or certificate, your financial aid award is reduced to the enrollment status based on your courses that do apply to your degree (see enrollment status types above.) You have two options:

  1. If your financial aid award does not cover all of your tuition costs, you will need to pay for the course(s) using your own funds. In some instances, your financial aid award, although it has been reduced, is still enough to pay for your course(s) that are not in program. These ineligible courses can be paid for out of pocket or you can register for the payment plan to pay for them.
  2. Meet with an Academic Advisor at the Lone Tree Campus or call 928-226-4323 to discuss the situation. If the semester has not yet begun, it may be in your best interest to drop the ineligible course(s) and enroll only in courses eligible for financial aid. If the semester has already begun then you are personally responsible for payment of the charges associated with the ineligible courses. 

None of my classes apply to my degree or certificate, but I still want to take them. What does this mean for me?

You must pay for all tuition expenses out of pocket. CCC offers a payment plan for students to help ease the burden of paying for college. However, if you plan on receiving financial aid in the future, then it is imperative that you maintain a good GPA and Pace of Progression. You may end up on financial aid suspension if you fail to do so.

I am taking coursework below 100 level (for example: MAT 097, RDG 099).  Will financial aid pay for this classes?

Yes, Financial Aid will pay for up to 30 credit hours of remedial coursework (coursework below 100 level).

Can I change my degree or certificate program to receive financial aid for a course that is not fundable in my current program?

If you need to take courses that are not in your degree or certificate, it is likely that you are not in the program that best fits your educational goal. You need to meet with an Academic Advisor to ensure you are in the correct degree or certificate. You may make an appointment with Student Services at 928-226-4323. Once you have met with your Academic Advisor, a more appropriate program will be found for you. Changing your degree or certificate should be done with great caution because it may impact your eligibility for future semesters by reaching the maximum time frame for completion of degree or certificate (150% rule). For more information on the 150% rule, visit our Satisfactory Academic Progress page. Always work with an academic advisor and financial aid when you are changing from one degree or certificate to another- don't do it on your own as it can cause you to lose financial aid eligibility.

Can financial aid be used to pay for prerequisites to classes that are required for my degree?

No, prerequisite courses cannot be funded with financial aid. Financial Aid can only pay for courses that apply towards your degree or certificate. We recommend that you contact an Academic Advisor at the Lone Tree Campus or call 928-226-4323 to discuss your options.